The other day, my fourth hour got on my last nerve.
We were supposed to be reading and working.
A few people were trying.
A number of people were not.
And I get it.
It is almost the end of the year and they are tired.
But as I tell them, I have too much respect for them to waste anyone's time.
I am trying to include as much interaction and fun as I can.
There is a limit though.
There aren't enough books to send home, so we have to read in class.
Anyway, I was losing my patience and I knew it.
So, I told my co-teacher I was going to run some copies and left.
The luxury of being able to step away is a privilege I relish.
It is limited now that my student teacher has finished her tenure in my classroom.
But during the two hours of the day, I can, if I am desperate, still step away.
Because those two classes are what we call co-taught (one regular educator and one special educator).
My co-teacher has been very understanding.
She is always willing to help.
We have both grown over the five years we have worked together.
So when I got too frazzled, she let me take a brief break.
When I returned, I had found my patience again.
Most of the students had finally settled down.
As I stepped further into the room, my co-teacher approached me.
She said "I feel like we always publicize the kids who do the wrong thing, so I wanted to try to publicize and honor the kids who didn't need any redirection."
Then she pointed at the board.
She had written the word impressive and under it listed all the students who made good choices.
It was an incredibly smart and timely idea.
At the end of the hour, she copied down the names before erasing the board.
"I don't know what I will do yet, but I want to do something for these guys next class" she told me.
Also an incredibly smart idea.
I used that strategy for the rest of the day and it had powerfully positive impact on student behavior.
When we are tired, or frustrated, or impatient, or whatever...if we look a little harder there are always plenty of good things to see.